NC picks Dalit leader as mayoral candidate

Dhangadi, June 13                       

Nepali Congress has nominated a dalit youth leader to contest the second round of civic polls in Dhangadi Sub-metropolitan City, the only sub-metropolis of Province 7.

The NC has announced Nripa Bahadur Odda, 42, as the mayoral candidate for the sub-metropolis. It is said this move will promote social equality and inclusiveness.

Odda is the Dhangadi president of the NC. Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Odda were the aspirants for the mayoral post in Dhangadi Sub-metropolis, and the NC central office finalised Odda’s name or he post.

NC Kailai President Prakash Bam said that Odda was not only a candidate representing the Dalit community but also a capable candidate for the post. “No party could offer a Dalit the election ticket to fight for the mayoral post, but NC did,” he added. Bam also revealed that some persons had tried to discard Odda’s candidacy just because of his caste.

Meanwhile, Odda said that he had spent most of his time in the service of people during his political career and expressed hope that he could earn their trust this time. “The NC leadership has offered me the ticket on the basis of my work and dedication to the party,” he added. Odda said he would not be the representative of any particular class or caste, but would rather be a leader of all the residents of the metropolis.

Province 7 has one sub-metropolis, 33 municipalities and 54 rural municipalities. It is said that no political party  has selected a Dalit candidate for major posts, except the NC.

The CPN-UML finalised Durga Joshi as the mayoral candidate in the sub-metropolis. Similarly, The CPN-Maoist Centre picked Ram Samaj Rana as the mayoral candidate, and Rastriya Prajatantra chose Bishnu Bahadur Shahu as the mayoral candidate in the metropolis. Gopal Hamal is contesting as an independent candidate for the mayoral post of Dhangadi Sub-metropolis.